Published by the
IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND
Web Site: www.icublind.org
An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind
Carrie Chapman, President
200 Parkview Dr.
Waukee, IA 50263
Don Wirth, Co-Editor
921 – 9th St., #208
Ames, IA 50010
Sandy Tigges, Co-Editor
2904 - 34th St.
Des Moines, IA 50310
SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: The ICUB Bulletin is available in large print, via email, and on an NLS-compliant digital audio cartridge. To subscribe to the cartridge edition, please contact the Iowa Department for the Blind Library at 515-281-1323 or, in Iowa, at 800-362-2587, option 3. Please direct other questions about format and address changes to Co-Editor Don Wirth.
SELECTING ICUB AS A BENEFICIARY
If you or a friend would like to remember the Iowa Council of the United Blind in your will, you may do so by using the following language: “I grant, devise, or bequeath unto the Iowa Council of the United Blind, a non-profit charitable organization, the sum of ______ dollars, ____ percent of my net estate, or the following stocks and bonds (please list them) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons.” If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney call 515-279-4284, or write to the Iowa Council of the United Blind, 4013 - 30TH Street, Des Moines, IA 50310.
DONATING YOUR VEHICLE TO BENEFIT ICUB
Do you need to dispose of a used vehicle? ICUB's Used Vehicle Donation Program offers a perfect solution. Your vehicle will be picked up from your home and sold at auction. A portion of the proceeds go directly to ICUB. You claim a tax deduction equal to the dollar value of the vehicle. Call 800-899-4925 for more information.
SHOPPING TO BENEFIT ICUB!
Are you an online shopper? You can help ICUB secure some additional funds when you shop at smile.amazon.com. There, enter your email address and password. You will be prompted to shop for the charity Amazon is promoting that day or to select your own. In the dialog box for selecting your own, type our name, Iowa Council of the United Blind. We will then be the charity of choice each time you shop at https://smile.amazon.com/. ICUB will receive 0.5% of the value of eligible purchases. Keep in mind, if you checkout using the Amazon app on your smart phone, ICUB will not receive a donation. You can use the app to put items in your cart and then complete your purchase at smile.amazon.com. If you do not yet have an account at Amazon, go to their website, establish an account, and then go to smile.amazon.com to make your purchases. As of June 2019, ICUB has received over $200 in donations through this program. Happy shopping!
Bulletin Table of Contents
President’s Message p. 4
2019 ICUB State Convention Memories p. 5
…And Mr. Jack Fox replied… p. 7
Online Shopping Resources p. 7
Sweets and Eats p. 10
In Memory of Those We Have Lost p. 11
Fundraising Committee Report p. 12
A New GICU Grant for ICUB p. 13
Membership Committee Report p. 13
Fifty Years of Blind Advocacy in Dubuque p. 14
News You Can Use p. 16
Changes at the Iowa Department for the Blind p. 18
Life Coaching Corner p. 19
Across Iowa At-Large Chapter Report p. 20
Des Moines Chapter Report p. 20
Resolution 2019-01 Accessible Absentee Balloting p. 22
Iowa Council of the United Blind Officers, Board Members, and Chapter Presidents p. 24
Dear members and friends,
Another successful annual ICUB Conference and Convention is now in the books. Again this year, our many speakers and exhibitors did not disappoint. Honestly, it’s hard to pick out just one or two examples of speakers who did the most fantastic job. I think we can all agree, though that APH audio-book narrator Jack Fox could have presented most of the day and we would all have been content. Mistie Johnson, from Disability Rights Iowa, came with a wealth of knowledge about Social Security. We all took home something from her enthusiastic presentation. Whether you made some pineapple salsa in one of the breakout sessions, tasted some wine from The Cellar Winery, or visited the many exhibitors, there was something for every attendee. Thanks to everyone who attended, supported, and worked to make our 2019 Convention another memorable one.
Rather than present a repetitive update (see many excellent Convention reports further in the Bulletin), I would like to focus on all the many, many people who work tirelessly for this organization and never ask to be recognized—and rarely are. It takes time and effort to serve on committees, volunteer expertise, plan events, do outreach, and help in many other ways I have not mentioned. Please know how much you are appreciated and needed and that your hard work does not go unnoticed. We certainly couldn’t do it without you. Thank you!
Carrie Chapman, President
2019 ICUB State Convention Memories
Editor’s Note: Below are some of Don’s random recollections from this year’s ICUB state convention at the Holiday Inn in Urbandale.
After attending the convention for several years at this hotel, it should all have been familiar to me. But wait! Meetings have been moved to the first floor, and the hotel has done some major remodeling. Well, at least this definitely isn’t the confusing Union Station Hilton in St. Louis where the 2018 ACB National Convention was held…never felt like I knew where I was going the entire time I was there.
Okay, meeting rooms should be straight out from the registration desk. Now go past the hallway to Bennigan’s and on the right should be…hold it! What’s with all the tables and chairs? Where am I?
Turn around. Electronic doors on the right…yep, facing the registration desk again…make a 180 to head to meeting rooms…here are those tables and chairs again…scoot a little to the right…oh, there’s now a new business center in the middle of what used to be a hallway. Get around the outside of the business center, then straight ahead through the narrower hallway to the registration desk and meeting rooms. Now it’s getting familiar.
Attend breakout sessions. Carrie Chapman talking about online shopping and delivery services. Next a session on healthy eating with free food. Get a goodie bag with snacks. What’s this—they want me to chop onions, peppers and other things to make a salsa? I didn’t realize I had to work for my food. Ah ha! Passed the knife to Linda—she’s better at chopping than I am and I still get the free food…guess I worked that out right.
Check the time…food workshop running long…need to get to At-Large Chapter meeting. Go to wrong room…go to another wrong room…really late now…get to right room. Carrie Chapman lets me in. Where is every one? Meeting doesn’t start for another fifteen minutes? I had it wrong and the food workshop wasn’t running long after all. After that false start, the rest of the conference seemed to go rather smoothly…I only walked into the Business Center 5 more times on my way to the meeting rooms from my hotel room. Still a great improvement from my experiences last year in St. Louis!
So many convention highlights not in the formal agenda…
· Jeana and Becky at the registration table acting as traffic directors and handing out goodies shared with us by another convention group.
· Volunteers helping direct us when we needed help (never did find one at the door of the business center to say “Don’t come this way…stay right.”).
· Conversations during the sessions, between sessions, at the meals, at the break-out sessions, at the hospitality room. So many people, so many stories, so much sharing.
· The reaction to Jack Fox (Is this a rock concert?). Everyone was excited to hear from one of our reading heroes and to interact with him via FaceTime.
· The way Carrie and other convention organizers adapted to unexpected changes to the schedule so flawlessly.
· The touching Memorial Service that Jo and Donna led.
It was a great convention. Plan to join us next year, readers, and then share your memories with us in next summer’s Bulletin.
…And Mr. Jack Fox replied…
Editor’s note: Apparently Mr. Fox felt like a rock star! We sent a grateful acknowledgment to him. He responded as follows:
“THANK YOU for being such an appreciative audience! It was my first experience attending electronically and I was anxious to test the waters. Your team handled it so well, even with some last-minute adjustments.
It has been my pleasure to add to the treasure of audible books that are available and I am always delighted to get such good feedback. Please keep reading and I will keep recording! Thanks again for taking the time to follow up on our time together.
The best to all,
Online Shopping Resources
Editor’s Note: The first day of the 2019 ICUB State Convention got off to a great start when President Carrie Chapman led a break-out session where she presented information for online shopping and delivery services. Below is her presentation.
If you decide to shop online, you need to keep some things in mind.
First, you need to know you will be sharing personal information to set up an account. To make a purchase, you will have to enter your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and credit card. This information will be saved on the website or app where you plan to make a purchase.
Know where you are shopping. Do your research before deciding to shop at a particular place. Ask friends where they shop and what their experience has been. You can also find reviews of sites online. Most major retailers have a website or app, as well as brick and mortar stores.
Check the return policy before ordering something. For example, Amazon prime members have free returns on thousands of products. Other sites may just give you store credit or limit the time you have to send an item back.
Know your prices. Just because a site says an item is on sale or a good deal, it doesn’t mean that it is. Prices can vary wildly from one site to another and even within a single site. You can often get discount codes from sites like retailmenot.com or by signing up for promotional emails.
Below I have listed a few popular sites that I have explored and used myself.
Amazon has an accessibility line you can reach at 888.283.1678. Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Representatives will spend as much time as you need giving you details on a particular item and helping you shop. They can also place items in your cart, but they are not able to check you out. You will need to finish the transaction yourself online or through the app. Both the app and the website are accessible. On the home page of the website, you can find a link for screen-reader users that makes the site easier to navigate. You do not have to have a membership to shop on Amazon, but if you do, you get free two-day delivery, free returns, and access to many other perks. Again, know your prices because not everything is a deal.
Walmart offers customer assistance by calling 800.925.6278. This service is available until 12:00 A.M., Central Standard Time, 7 days a week. Shipping is free on orders over $35.00; otherwise, there is a charge of $5.99.
Instacart’s accessibility line is available until 10:00 P.M. by calling 888.317.8968. You can place an order online, through the app, or on the phone. By paying a membership fee of $9.99 a month or $99.00 a year, you will have no delivery or service fees unless your order totals less than $35.00. In most cases, you will receive your order in just a couple of hours. The stores available to shop at may vary depending on your location. They are Aldi’s, Costco, Natural Grocery, CVS, Petco, Sam’s Club, Hy-Vee, and Fresh Thyme.
Shipt is similar to Instacart, except you cannot call in to place an order. Membership is $99.00 a year or $14.00 a month. If, as a member, you refer someone to the service and they sign up, you will get a $50.00 bonus and your referral will pay only $49.00 for their first membership. If you order less than $35.00 worth of items, you will have to pay a $7.00 delivery fee. Nonmembers can place an order but must pay a service and delivery charge. Depending on your location, Target, Hy-Vee, CVS, and possibly other stores may be available for you to choose from. Keep in mind with both Instacart and Shipt that prices will not be the same as those in the store. You can expect to pay an additional five dollars, give or take, per every $35.00 you spend. Again, you’ll need to be knowledgeable about prices.
These are just a handful of the websites and apps that are out there. I use them all the time, but I always check the sites out carefully especially those with which I am not familiar before I place an order. If you find yourself shopping on a site that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Please let us know about shopping sites you like to use so we can share them with other Bulletin readers.
Sweets and Eats
Bettina Dolinsek and Jackie Armstrong
Editor’s Note: During the second breakout session of the convention, Bettina Dolinsek, Jackie Armstrong, and dietician Carlene Russell talked about healthy eating and cooking on a budget. They shared the following tasty recipes. Although the cake may not be exactly healthy, it is easy, inexpensive, and delicious!
Pineapple Salsa 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple 6 fresh strawberries, finely diced 1 small jalapeno, stemmed, deveined, and diced ½ cup red onion, finely diced 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice chopped cilantro (optional) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and keep chilled until ready to use. Serve with cinnamon tortilla chips. Cinnamon Tortilla Chips 1 package soft flour tortillas 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter (or butter-flavored cooking spray) ¼ cup sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon Preheat oven to 350°. Place tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter (or generously spray with butter-flavored cooking spray). Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. With a pizza cutter, cut tortillas into wedges. Bake for 10 minutes, adjusting the time if necessary to desired crispness. Cool before serving. Cake in a Mug 1 box cake mix, any flavor 1 box one-step white angel food cake mix ½ package good-quality chocolate or butterscotch chips Stir all dry ingredients together and store in an air-tight container in the pantry. To make a single cake, mix together the following: 1/3 cup dry cake in a mug mixture 3 tablespoons water Stir together in a microwave-safe mug and microwave for approximately 45 seconds. A tapered mug works best. Cool for 2 minutes and invert onto a plate or into a bowl. Enjoy while still warm.
In Memory of Those We Have Lost Editor’s Note: Below are the names of ICUB members, friends, and family who have passed away during the past year. On Sunday morning, April 14, Donna Seliger and Joann Slayton led a memorial service for these individuals. BRIDGET BUTTS—FRIEND OF ICUB LEE CREEK—FRIEND AND IBSSS ALUMNUS REVANNE DUCKETT—FRIEND, IBSSS ALUMNUS AND FORMER IDB STAFF MEMBER DARLENE GREENFIELD—FRIEND AND FORMER IDB STAFF MEMBER GARY JGERSTAND—FRIEND AND IBSSS ALUMNUS JOHN KLATT—FRIEND OF ICUB ANGELA KABALA—FRIEND AND IBSSS ALUMNUS LOREN SCHMITT—FRIEND AND IBSSS ALUMNUS ED SHEPPARD—ICUB MEMBER, FRIEND AND FORMER IDB STAFF MEMBER LINDA SLAYTON—WIFE OF KEVIN SLAYTON, DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OF CREIG AND JO SLAYTON, ICUB MEMBER AND FRIEND, AND FORMER IDB STAFF MEMBER DON STRUB—FRIEND AND FORMER IDB STAFF MEMBER MARCIA CHAPMAN—AUNT OF ICUB MEMBER CARRIE CHAPMAN ROB GOLDSBERRY—BROTHER-IN-LAW OF ICUB MEMBER ARLO MONTHEI ERIC NORTHWAY—CLOSE FRIEND OF ICUB MEMBERS ELSIE AND ARLO MONTHEI AND FAMILY JANE SHEEHY—AUNT OF ICUB MEMBER CARRIE CHAPMAN TERRY WELDON—FATHER OF ICUB MEMBER ANGIE DAVIS MARLYS VANHAUEN—VOLUNTEER READER OF “THE SHOPPING CART” FOR IRIS CATHERINE MOWERY—MOTHER OF DENNIS AND MOTHER-IN-LAW OF ICUB MEMBER JEANA MOWERY
Fundraising Committee Report
The ICUB Fundraising Committee welcomes a new Chair, Thandra Ritchie. This summer we will be working on developing a fall retreat, researching grant opportunities, creating a sponsorship-level program, and revising our ICUB brochure, website, and flier.
Please contact the committee if you have any fundraising ideas you would like to share with us. Here is an example. If you have a Facebook page and it is your birthday, anniversary or other special day, you can create a donate button on your page through which your family and friends can make donations to ICUB. Using the mobile Facebook app, you can do this by going to the more short cuts button and then clicking on the fundraising button to search for the Iowa Council of the United Blind. Remember: every dollar will help ICUB achieve its goals!
A New GICU Grant
This winter, ICUB applied for and was awarded a second grant from the Greater Iowa Credit Union (GICU) in Ames. This time we received $1,250.00. These funds will be used to cover some of the costs connected with membership development, transportation, and outreach. We wish to send a grateful thank you to GICU for this generous gift, and we hope to continue our partnership with them in the future.
GICU also has offices in East Des Moines (near the fairgrounds), West Des Moines, Waukee and Dennison. GICU also has a crowd-funding program to help different non-profit organizations each month. You can contribute to this program by going to GICU’s website at giveiowa.org.
Membership Committee Report
The ICUB Membership Committee has several new members and is hard at work developing new ideas and carrying out programs to
increase ICUB membership. This summer we are developing an annual award to be given to an outstanding teacher of the visually impaired, the first of which will be presented at the 2020 ICUB state Annual Conference and Convention. The ongoing Ambassador Program will have a vendor table at the Iowa Lions’ Club’s State Convention in June in Cedar Rapids. We are also putting together a subcommittee to develop and implement a calling tree to keep in touch with all of our members statewide. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Teresa Gregg at 402.980.9980.
Fifty Years of Blind Advocacy in Dubuque
In the late 1960’s, Don Gagne was contacted by a representative of the Iowa Commission for the Blind to attend training classes in Des Moines. At the time, Gagne was working at the Dubuque Packing Company. He had a wife and three small children. He couldn’t see a way to attend the training and continue to support his family.
Robert Wahlert was president of Dubuque Pack. He contacted Gagne and offered him support to attend the training in Des Moines. Wahlert would continue to provide support to Gagne’s family while Gagne obtained the training. Upon completion of the training, Don returned to Dubuque and worked at Dubuque Pack. When he was leaving Des Moines, he was informed that there was no blind advocacy group in Dubuque.
At his work at Dubuque Pack, Don encountered more issues with his blindness and his work. Included in this was efforts by fellow workers to place items in his way and on the production line that impeded Gagne’s movements and work. Wahlert again contacted Gagne to offer him additional training at a Minnesota facility. Don was reluctant to leave his family for another extended period of time. Wahlert provided Gagne a separation settlement.
When Don left the Commission for the Blind, he was given a list of blind individuals in Dubuque. When he returned to Dubuque, he contacted a number of these people. In November 1969, the organizational papers for the Dubuque Association of the Blind were filed.
In the following years, the association purchased a former Salvation Army building at 12th and Jackson. Their plans called for development of the building as a center for blind individuals. Space would be provided for vision testing and a store for selling items made by blind folks. It was also the center for the candy sales that supported the organization.
Later, the Association determined to join a national organization. After discussion and evaluation, they voted to join the National Federation of the Blind. After a while, conflict arose over the sale of local or national candy and over local ownership of the Association’s building. This led to a vote to disassociate from the NFB.
In 1971, a vote of the Association members was held to disassociate from NFB. Because only half of the members were present, the vote was contested. A second meeting was held with all members present. After numerous votes, the decision was made to remain a member of the NFB by a majority of one vote.
In 1972, Gagne, his sister Violet Haverland, and others formed the Tri-State Independent Blind Society. The members of the Dubuque Association later sold their building at 12th and Jackson. In 1982, the Association became a chapter of the United Blind of Iowa. They later joined the Iowa Council of the Blind—as it was called then--when it was formed around 1986.
On October 5, 2019, the Dubuque Association will hold a banquet to honor Don Gagne and to celebrate 50 years of advocacy for the blind. Tentative plans call for the event to be held from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. with lunch at noon at the Tri-State Blind building located at 1068 Cedar Cross Road in Dubuque. Entertainment will be provided by Lou Oswald. Possible presenters include Carrie Chapman, President of ICUB, and Ron Herrig, Board Member of the Tri-State Blind Association. For more information and reservations, contact Violet Haverland at 563.543.4777 or Linda Gonzales at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations must be made by September 30. We hope to see you there!
News You Can Use
Norma A. Boge
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is collecting stories about how readers got started with and use Braille. Your story may be published in the Fred's Head BLOG. Send your submission to the Trail to Braille Project at email@example.com.
Rehab Mart has a nice selection of products for blind and low vision persons, including canes, magnifiers, writing aids and much more. Also featured is a large array of medical products for diabetic and general use. Ask about their financing options. Phone 888.231.6052 or visit shorturl.at/tFHMR for more information.
The Windows 10 spring update includes more accessibility features for Narrator. To view a list of the additions, go to shorturl.at/xBJKT .
The Accessible Toolbox Podcast, produced by Envision, covers topics that empower people who are blind or visually impaired to increase their independence. Join them and special guests for discussions about developments and innovative breakthroughs in accessibility and technology. Episode 1, Uber Tips for Guide Dog Users, and Episode 2, Tips Using Uber with VoiceOver, can be found at shorturl.at/biUX3.
Speaking of Uber, the ride-sharing service is now available throughout Iowa! Now those living in smaller towns and in rural areas can experience the convenience of Uber. And if you know a driver in these areas who'd like to earn some extra money, encourage them to sign up to drive for Uber!
An Audible version of Cobblestones, a 2018 collection of poetry by Linda Slayton, an ICUB member who passed away last October, is now available through the Iowa Department for the Blind Library. The annotation is as follows: “A collection of poetry that takes the reader down an intricate pathway of stones worn smooth, frayed edges, and the crevasses in-between. Like cobblestones, we often meander in our journey; seeking our own way. These poems represent that unique quest and what the author learned through those experiences.”
The second annual Ride Into Sight tractor ride will be held on August 3. Organized by Tyler Juranek, this event raises money for retinal research at University of Iowa Hospitals and educates the public about the capabilities of people who are blind. For more information and to register to be a virtual rider, contact Tyler in Council Bluffs at 402.594.5384 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
In the last Tips and Tricks with ICUB, Carol Flickinger led a telephonic discussion on using VoiceOver with the iPhone and iPad. You can find some useful VoiceOver tutorials by searching the web and the App Store. One good app, which you can download for free, is called LookTel VoiceOver Tutorial. You can also find a complete list of VoiceOver IoS gestures on the applevis.com website.
Note: If you happen across and item which you think might be of interest to Bulletin readers, please send your submission to Norma at email@example.com. Thank you!
Changes at the Iowa Department for the Blind
Recently, two major changes at the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) have been announced. The name of the Library is being changed from the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to the Iowa Library for Accessible Statewide Services, and the Aids and Devices Store will be closing on July 31. The full rationale for these changes can be found on the Department’s home page at idbonline.org.
Following the lead of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), which is changing its name to the National Library for the Blind and Print Disabled, the Iowa Library also feels the need to remove the words “physically handicapped” from its name, since many people find the term to be outdated and offensive. It is thought that the name of the library should focus more on what it does rather than on the people it serves. It is believed that the new name better reflects that the Library provides services statewide, that it produces and circulates reading materials in accessible formats, that it loans out equipment like audio players and Braille writers, that it emphasizes the importance of accessibility in all aspects of life, and that it provides a wide variety of services beyond the circulation of books.
The closing of the Aids and Devices Store is believed to be a positive change for the Department and the services it provides. Three primary reasons have been given for this decision. First, a full-time referral specialist is needed to make sure that referrals are followed up promptly. The current referral specialist now must spend one-fourth of her time managing the store. Second, the space now used by the store is ideal for providing clients with a College and Career Commons, a place where they can get the training and tools necessary to pursue employment goals. Finally, there are now more options available for people to purchase adaptive aids, including online, by phone, and at local businesses. As a result, the total cost of items purchased through the store have been declining, so that the store’s income does not adequately cover the cost of running it.
If you would like to provide input about these changes or other matters concerning the Department, you can contact Director Emily Wharton at 515.281.1334 or Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to provide input concerning the Library, you can contact the Library Director, Sarah Willeford, at 515.281.1291 or email@example.com. The Department’s toll-free number is 800.362.2587. Check the Department’s website for other ways to provide your input to Department staff.
Life Coaching Corner
In the last Bulletin, we discussed how each room in your home makes you feel. In this edition, let’s talk about how to change the vibrational energy of a room by using music.
Music can evoke memories, energize an exercise group, improve cognitive thinking, and cause laughter or tears. It can even put you to sleep. Over the next few months, observe what music or sounds are being played in each room. Note how they make you feel. Be creative and bold by changing up the music and sounds to evoke a whole new energetic feeling in each of your rooms. What emotions and feelings do these changes bring to you?
Across Iowa At-Large Chapter Report
Each month we discuss a different topic in our Chapter meetings. The wintery March weather brought about a discussion of how to travel in bad weather.
In April, we discussed the upcoming State Convention, where we had almost 100% attendance by our members. We also began the process to change the quorum requirement by proposing an amendment to the Chapter constitution.
May was the month to share newsletters and magazines related to blindness.
Please join our monthly meetings on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00p.m. by calling 712.432.5610, access code 782. Everyone is welcome.
Des Moines Chapter Report
Lori Trujillo Roush
Editor’s Note: Lori is the 2019 winner of the Linda Dietrich Special Volunteer of the Year Award, which was presented to her at the ICUB convention banquet. Congratulations, Lori! The Des Moines chapter has continued to stay busy over the last couple of months. At the beginning of the year, ICUB was invited to have a member come once a month to speak in Business Class with Orientation Center students. I am happy to say that, over the last six months, we have had six different members volunteer their time. Topics have included discussions on employment, accessibility, and achieving and maintaining independence. In March, we held a dinner and game night to raise money for the state convention. The theme was Hawaiian, and we raised $207.00. This amount is in addition to the $200.00 the chapter donated In April, members from the chapter held a booth at the Family Spring Conference, which was sponsored by the Braille School. Although the turnout was small at the table, it gave us an opportunity to speak personally with parents and gain a better understanding of some of the things they may be looking for in terms of resources. Later in the month, we provided a dinner for seniors attending the Orientation Center for the week. We look forward to hosting another dinner in the fall. May speakers at our Chapter meeting were Bradley Rice and Michael Barber. Bradley is the territory business manager for Dexcom, a manufacturer of Continuous Glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. CGMs are a great way to help manage diabetes. They can provide real-time glucose information, track trends, and send alerts when blood sugar levels reach specific thresholds. Michael is a user of the system, and he shared his own experiences of the device. We were also joined in May by Georgie Filber from Meals from the Heartland. Georgie spoke to us about volunteer opportunities for the Chapter including labeling and packaging meals. We learned that, over the last 11 years, Meals from the Heartland has provided over 120 million meals to 30 countries. In June, our speaker was Sarah Willeford. Sarah is the Director of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She provided us with a tour of the children’s library and spoke with us about S.O.A.R. Saturdays, a program for youth patrons of the library and their families. Also in June, members will be traveling to the 2019 Lions Clubs of Iowa State Convention in Cedar Rapids where we will have a booth. Also in June, members will be traveling to the 2019 Lions Clubs of Iowa State Convention in Cedar Rapids where we will have a booth. In July we will be meeting again with LEAP transition-age students. This activity is still in the planning stages. Our goal is to introduce the students to something new while making it both fun and challenging. Upcoming Chapter events include: July 13th: Art Center tour and lunch August 28th to August 31st: Meals from the Heartland packaging September 28th: Des Moines Chapter annual picnic October 26th: Fifth annual charity trivia bowl and decade party All dates are subject to change. Everyone is welcome. Please watch for more information to follow.
Editor’s Note: The following resolution was passed at the 2019 state convention to deal with the lack of accessibility of absentee ballots for blind voters in Iowa.
Iowa Council of the United Blind
Subject: Accessible Absentee Balloting
Whereas, in the United States of America, nearly one in four voters votes by mail; and
Whereas, all voters with and without disabilities have the legal right to vote by mail; and
Whereas, many voters with disabilities lack adequate transportation, training using accessible voting equipment, or the ability to leave their homes and travel to polling places to vote on accessible voting machines; and
Whereas, voters who cannot see, hold, or mark a ballot due to a disability are the only voters in the United States who must go to an actual polling place if they want to vote privately and independently; and
Whereas, federal and state law requires equal access to the ballot and voting experience, including the right to a private and independent verifiable mail ballot; and
Whereas, numerous states and localities around the U.S. have already deployed an accessible alternative to paper absentee and “vote by mail” ballots, and at least two states have already officially certified accessible absentee and “vote by mail” technologies; and
Whereas, accessible absentee and “vote by mail” technologies are not yet available in Iowa but could be acquired and provided without delay and with a minimal outlay of funds; and
Whereas, all states, including Iowa, received a substantial new allocation from federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds, from which a small portion could be used for the purchase of such a statewide “Accessible Vote By Mail” (AVBM) technology.
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Iowa Council of the United Blind in convention assembled on the 14th day of April, 2019, at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Urbandale, Iowa, that this organization commit to the following:
1. Members of the Iowa Council of the United Blind (ICUB) request the state of Iowa to immediately take all necessary steps to ensure equal access to absentee and vote by mail balloting throughout the state;
2. Members strongly encourage Iowa’s election officials to comply with all state and federal laws which require equal access to ballots and voting by directing all counties to deploy an AVBM solution within six months of an AVBM system (or systems) being approved by the state of Iowa; and
3. In conjunction with the spirit and purpose of this resolution, state officials, including the Secretary of State, are further encouraged to assist local jurisdictions to acquire a single, centralized, uniform AVBM system that such officials have helped to develop.
Iowa Council of the United Blind
Officers, Board, and Chapter Presidents
effective April 13, 2019
President, Carrie Chapman (re-elected 2018)
511 - 20th Court, SW
Altoona, IA 50009
Immediate Past President, Robert Spangler (began service in 2014)
1505 W. 4th St.
Vinton, IA 52349
319-550-1748 – cell
First Vice President, Sandy Tigges (re-elected 2018)
2904 - 34th St.
Des Moines, IA 50310
515-277-1256 – home
Second Vice President, Teresa Gregg (elected 2018)
432 Houston Ave.
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Treasurer, Jeana Mowery (re-elected 2018)
132 Carter Ave.
Ottumwa, IA 52501
712-310-7140 – cell
Secretary, Catherine Witte (re-elected 2018)
200 Parkview Dr.
Waukee, IA 50263
515-987-4490 – home
515-343-6693 – cell
Jacqueline (Jackie) Armstrong (re-elected 2018)
103 Lawnsdale Ct.
Forest City, IA 50436
641-590-6755 – cell
Bettina Dolinsek (elected 2019)
301 E. Court Ave., Unit 104
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
515-418-1201 – cell
Carol Flickinger (re-elected 2018)
320 Jones St.
P. O. Box 87
Rockwell City, IA 50579
712-887-1109 – cell
Tyler Juranek (re-elected 2018)
24065 McPherson Avenue
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
402-594-5384 – cell
Donna Seliger (re-elected 2019)
915 Ashworth Rd., Suite 218
West Des Moines, IA 50265
515-284-0505 – home
515-360-6949 – cell
Kristen Steele (elected 2018)
22362 Norman Dr.
Underwood, IA 51576
Rose Stratton (re-elected 2019)
320 N. Olive
Maquoketa, IA 52060
Please send written communication via U. S. mail.
Don Wirth (re-elected 2019)
921 – 9th St., #208
Ames, IA 50010
Teresa Gregg, Across Iowa At-large Chapter
432 Houston Ave.
Council Bluffs, IA 51503